The Elevator Pitch: Short and Sweet

With only moments to communicate what you do and leave a lasting impression, rsz_1willy-wonka-and-the-chocolate-factoryyour “elevator pitch” can be a critical networking tool.  But, finding the balance of what to include and what not to include takes some honing.

Below are some guidelines on how to successfully approach your elevator pitch:

Engage them quickly

First you have to get their attention. Your opening line is very important. It’s like a headline or “the hook.” You must grab your listener’s interest and make them want to know more. Do this right and you get to move on, do this wrong and you’ve already lost them.

Suss out your audience

A good elevator pitch will shift depending on the who your audience is. If you know your pitch well, lead with the information your listener cares most about, and the rest will follow. Know your pitch frontwards and backwards so you sound natural. You do not want to sound automated and like a telemarketer.

Be passionate

It’s easy to include what you do in your 30 seconds but don’t forget to include ‘why’ you do it and what value it has. Including these two components not only explains the passion you have for what you do but what the purpose is. This part can be very exciting. It also and provides context and fleshes out the story.

Don’t forget a good sign off

The goal of an elevator pitch is not to close a sale, but to simply deliver an engaging, compact version of what you do, why you do it and what problem it solves. It should feel like a natural part of conversation. It’s a way of talking with people, whilst qualifying your business and gauging their level of interest in moving the conversation forward. Ask if they’d like to discuss further and offer your business card.

Melanie Barter

Melanie is an executive producer with a creative background in film, digital and marketing. She is originally from Toronto and has worked in Hong Kong, Los Angeles, New York and Chicago. She has been in San Francisco since 2004.

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